Baku, Azerbaijan, May 17
By Elena Kosolapova – Trend:
No matter who is elected at the May 19 presidential election in Iran, the nuclear deal between the country and P5+1 will be upheld, Kenneth Katzman, a senior analyst at the Congressional Research Service, which conducts research and analysis for the US Congress, believes.
"However, if [conservative candidate Ebrahim] Raisi is elected, US-Iran tensions likely will increase even further than is the case now," Katzman told Trend.
Meanwhile, the analyst expects that Raisi would not violate the Iran nuclear deal and, as long as the deal is upheld by Iran, likely any new sanctions would focus mainly on Iran's missile program, not on its oil and gas industry or banking industry.
But, the expert noted that the polls and chances still favor incumbent President Hassan Rouhani’s re-election at this point.
"However, there is potential for the regime to use the Revolutionary Guard and security forces to work on behalf of Mr. Raisi in the election, which could help that candidate prevail," Katzman said.
President Hassan Rouhani, the custodian of Razavi holy shrine Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi, former culture minister Seyed Mostafa Agha Mirsalim and reformist politician Mostafa Hashemi-Taba are campaigning for the upcoming presidential election.